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Motivation, Agency, and Public PolicyOf Knights and Knaves, Pawns and Queens$
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Julian Le Grand

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199266999

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199266999.001.0001

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A Theory of Public Service Motivation

A Theory of Public Service Motivation

Chapter:
(p.51) 4 A Theory of Public Service Motivation
Source:
Motivation, Agency, and Public Policy
Author(s):

Julian Le Grand (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199266999.003.0004

Uses the material from the two previous chapters to develop a new theory of public service motivation. The theory allocates a key role to the sacrifice involved in performing altruistic acts, arguing that the degree of sacrifice is positively related to the amount of altruistic acts undertaken (at least up to a point). It relates this to economic and psychological theories of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Goes on to discuss some of the theory's implications for policy design, examining, inter alia, principal‐agent theory, incentive contracting, non‐profit organisations and the development of ‘robust’ incentive structures. It also discusses the morality of exploiting people's willingness to undertake altruistic acts.

Keywords:   altruism, exploitation, incentive contracting, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, motivation, non‐profit organisations, principal‐agent theory, robust incentives, sacrifice, self‐interest

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